Men's Basketball Hosts No. 3 Whitworth Tuesday Night

News Release Date:
Monday, February 4, 2013

Walla Walla, Wash. – The Missionaries are readying for the biggest game of the year to this point, as they host third-ranked Whitworth tuesday night at the Sherwood Athletic Center. The Pirates, 20 – 1, are owners of first place in the Northwest Conference (12 – 0) and a twenty-game winning streak. Whitworth has not lost since its season opener against No. 2 St. Thomas (MN). 

Forward Ben Eisenhardt '14

Whitman is coming off a thrilling victory over Lewis & Clark Saturday night, getting the “W” after falling behind by nineteen points in the second half. Forward Ben Eisenhardt ’14 (Bainbridge Island, WA) fueled the comeback with 21 of his 25 points after intermission.

Not only are the Whits (8 – 4 NWC) striving to move up in the standings and guarantee a home playoff game, but they are also looking to avenge a double overtime loss to the Pirates earlier this season in Spokane (112 – 100).

Since dropping a 76 – 73 decision at George Fox on January 12, the Missionaries have won 5 of their last 6 and have, yet, to lose a conference game at home this season.

Whitworth clinched at least a share of the conference championship last Saturday with its 98 – 63 win over Pacific. They can clinch the title outright with a victory tomorrow night. Whitman is tied for second with George Fox, who comes to town Friday night for the last regular season home game. A victory against the Pirates keeps alive the Missionaries’ conference title hopes, as well as gaining home court in the first round of the post-season.

Even with its lower than usual point total against Lewis & Clark (74), Whitman still leads the conference  and is ranked third nationally in scoring average at 91.5 points per game. The Pirates rank first in the conference in scoring defense, allowing just 64.3 points per contest.

The two teams are ranked first and second in conference field goal percentage, with Whitworth at 51 % and the Missionaries at 45.5 %. The Pirates are also tops in three-point field goal percentage (37.8 %). Whitman is fifth (36 %).

Eisenhardt’s 25-point performance moved him into third in conference scoring at 16.3 points per game – he ranks fifth in rebounding (6.7 reb./g).  Although Whitworth does not have a top 5 scorer in conference, the Pirates have five players who average in double-figures, led by Dustin McConnel who tallies 13.9.

Tip-off is at 8 pm.

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Andrew Holt

Whitman Sports Information Director